Dairy cows are known for type of breed that could produce huge quantity of milk, they usually raise for the milk purpose only so they need to be mate regularly. It is better for dairy cow owner to take care of their cow with a good manner. Feeding the dairy cows and keep their comfort and health in track is what dairy cow top priorities to do. Because healthy and happy cows will produce high quality milk. If you are new owner of dairy cows, or want to start your own dairy farms, here are 9 easy ways to take care of your dairy cows to keep them healthy and happy and produce a high quality and quantity milk. You might also want to read things to know about dairy cows.
1. Have Dry and Comfortable Bed
Usually dairy cows farmer raise their cows on pasture or an open sided free-stall barns. In free-stall barns, your cows can eat, drink, sleep, and move around inside the barn whenever they want. You should put some dry compost or mattresses filed with rubber in the stall, so your cow could have dry and comfortable bed for their own comfort.
2. Give Better Lighting
It might seems so simple, but give a better lighting for your cow is one way to take care of them. There is one study report that show cows produce more milk when they are on a better light for longer hours. The amount of light in your barn could improve your cow health and productivity. All you need to do is to put a better lighting for your cow inside the stall, not to dark but not too bright either. It should be enough for human to read ear tag from the cow.
3. Healthy Diet
To produce milk, of course you need to take care of dairy cow’s healthy food. Dairy cow usually on healthy diet all the time to keep them healthy. Healthy diet of dairy cow mostly consist roughage and protein. Roughage consist of cellulose that come from various form of hays. A great amount protein supplement can be obtained from a great grass pasture, such as grass-legume pasture. You also need to provide plenty of clean and fresh water, because lactating dairy cow could drink up to 30 gallons of water per-day.
4. Properly Milk
Since the sole purpose of dairy cows is produce milk, so milking are one of the easy way to take care of your dairy cow. Milking the cow have to be done in proper way, you need to inspect and washing the cows udder and use milking equipment to gently remove the milk. Washing dairy cows udder before milking them will make them relax. The ideal time of milking should have 12 hours intervals. A cow with a full and distended udder will make one unhappy cow.
You can milk them once a day if you let her calf stay with their mother on the night and separate them in the morning. By the evening, your cow is ready to be milk and you don’t even need to bother feed the calf by feeding them milk in the bottle. If you keep the cow and calf together for 12 hours, the calf with drink half the cow’s daily milk production. You might want to read effective ways to take care of cow after delivery.
5. Teat Care
One of the most important part for your dairy cow is the udder area. Caring for their udder is another easy way to take care of your dairy cow. Udder are the most susceptible to disease, and to prevent the udder to infection, you need to keep your cow clean. The time right after you done milking the dairy cow, is the most critical time for the bacteria to enter the udder because the teat sphincter is open. Keep your cows bedding clean is the best way to prevent the infection and you should feed your cow right after milking to close the sphincter. Massage the udder with towel and dried them before the milking is one way to make your cows comfortable and happy also the udder is healthy. If you want to apply disinfection you should consult to your veterinarian first.
6. Trimming their Hooves
Foot care is part of taking care of your cow health, having a clean and healthy foot is important. If your cow have sore feet, it could affect their will to move around. Cows tend to be happy if they could eat and move around. Trimming the hooves of your dairy cow should have been done regularly, especially if your cows are raise inside the shelter. Trimming the hooves will reduce the chance of foot diseases such as foot rot, abscesses or punctures. Trimming cows hooves are done to prevent their feet to get hurt, trimming them is much more like giving them pedicure but of course minus the polish.
7. Prepare a Hospitality Milking Place
Milking should have done in a separate place on your farm where it has a few essential features like a roof, side wall with a head bail at one of the end side wall, clean and dry floor with rough surface concrete and also roofed calf pen close to the head bail in sight of cow being milked. Overall you need to take care of your dairy cow by keeping them comfortable on the milking place, prepare a hospitality milking place. Give your dairy cow a treat for them to enjoy while you milking them.
8. Prepare a Cool Environment
Dairy cows enjoys a little bit colder weather, so they really like to stay somewhere with cool temperatures. To take care of your dairy cows, you need to keep your dairy cow’s shelter well ventilated in order to get fresh air inside for your cows. Provide fans and cool water supply would make dairy cow comfortable and happy.
9. Antibiotic for Dairy Cows
When your cow is unwell and sick, its often for dairy cows to be treated with antibiotics to help them recover. This is part of take care of your dairy cows, but if you give one cow an antibiotics, you need to separate them from other healthy cows and away from the milking place. So that her milk she produce will not get mix with the other healthy cow’s milk, and their milk should be good when the antibiotics have cleared their system.
That is 9 easy ways to take care of your dairy cows for you who just begin to start a dairy farm. Hopefully it will help you become a good owner and your dairy cows could produce high quality and quantity milk. You might want to read 10 facts to love about cows and how to do cattle farming for beginner.